Urbandale's second boutique hotel to open next spring - Heart Of America Group

The Sleep Inn in Urbandale is being transformed into a contemporary boutique hotel.

The 21-year-old property along Interstate Highway 80-35 on Hickman Road will close after Labor Day for a complete remodel, said Mike Whalen, CEO of Heart of America.

The $11 million renovation will take about seven to eight months, with Revel’s opening set for next spring.

The 113-room hotel will be part of Hilton Hotels and Resorts’ Tapestry Collection of boutique properties, Whalen said. Currently, the Tapestry Collection includes unique properties in New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.

Boutique hotels are generally defined as small — about 100 rooms — independently operated inns, although many are now part of larger hotel operating companies. It is a $7 billion-a-year industry that is growing about 4.8 percent a year, according to IBISWorld, a market research company.

Boutique hotels “are intimate in scale, creating the ambiance of being a personal guest in a private home, rather than just a hotel occupant. They often have communal ‘living spaces’ where guests can interact,” according to CovingtonTravel.com.

They’re also generally located in “hip and fashionable” urban areas, according to the travel website.


Of the metro’s handful of boutique hotels, this will be the second suburban location — and it’s Whalen’s third. Heart of America also owns Hotel Renovo, a 102-room inn around the corner from the Sleep Inn. Whalen created the Renovo, which features reclaimed barn wood, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a red, white and blue theme, when it remodeled a former Comfort Suites

Revel also will have a contemporary feel “with a nod to agriculture,” Whalen said. Both Revel and the Renovo are next to Living History Farms, a 300-acre outdoor museum with working farms from the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s.

“It’s like a big bed and breakfast where you can have a drink in the bar,” said Kim Whalen, the Executive Vice President at Heart of America. Each room will have items that make it different from the others, she said.

Heart of America also operates the AC Hotel, a boutique property in downtown Des Moines’ East Village, as well as several other hotels across the metro.

Article Posted By: Des Moines Register – Patt Johnson

About Heart Of America

Starting with one, 100-seat restaurant in 1978, Heart of America Group has grown to include a portfolio of award-winning owned and operated restaurants, hotels and commercial developments. Noteworthy brands developed and operated by Heart of America Group include the Machine Shed Restaurant, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, The Republic on Grand, Hotel Renovo, Wildwood Lodge, Thunder Bay Grille, and The J Bar. We pride ourselves in building long-lasting properties that bring value to the consumer and to the communities in which we build.


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